Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld Diagnosed as 'Waraholics'

waraholic (war-a-hol-ic) adj. 1. of, pertaining to, or caused by war 2. a person addicted to armed conflict 3. a person suffering from a diseased condition caused by an excessive use of war

On Sept. 12, 2001, the waraholics fell off the wagon and Democrats became the great enablers.

For waraholics, the world is simple -- good and bad, friend or foe, patriot or traitor. God is always on their side.

For waraholics, there are no bad wars, only wars badly fought. Vietnam wasn't a failure, but a missed opportunity.

For waraholics, problems are solved with more troops, more bombing, more strategy, more tactics, and, of course, more wars.

Gulf War I wasn't a success, but a failure to finish the job.

For waraholics, negotiation, diplomacy and international aid are for wimps. And the U.N. just gets in the way.

And while a "just war" makes sense to just about everyone, for a waraholic it is the answer to almost every worldwide problem.

And like all addicts, waraholic will invariably binge, hit bottom and leave a trail of broken lives, debt and sorrow.

The waraholics' latest binge, after a long quiet period following a major bender in Vietnam, started five years ago -- on Sept. 11, 2001. Using a tragic event as an excuse to fall off the wagon is classic addict.

So a horrific attack, designed and executed by a band of crazies who had been rejected by their own families, all major Islamic leaders and most governments were elevated to a new status. Instead of classifying them as the fringe, cultish wackos they were, the waraholics declared war. But since this was not a state-sponsored attack, it had to be a "war on," not a "war with." And as any fool should know, "war-ons" are for morons.

For the leading waraholics -- Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney -- this was not their first "war on." In their first jobs together, they ran the "War on Poverty" for Richard Nixon. That war was won in New Orleans last September. Another popular "war on," the "War on Drugs" was also won in the mid '80s, when Steve Rubbel surrendered to Dick Bennett in a signing ceremony on the floor of Studio 54.

Like the gambleraholic, when the waraholics won a hand in Afghanistan, instead of holding pat, focusing on their winnings and building one nation at a time -- they thought they could "beat the mosque" in Iraq. Counting cards -- Hussein-Cards this time, they played down each loss and promised bigger wins just around the corner.

Like the alcoholic, they see everyone else as a teetotaler, or worse -- someone who can't drink like a man. Utter the words "I've had enough" and it becomes "cut and run." Loose of tongue, they lash out at anyone who suggests "moderation and restraint" and see every alternative as that most dreaded concept for addicts -- "therapy."

Like the sexaholic, there is always a good reason to keep the ones they love in the dark. Secrecy is part of the allure and a necessary evil. To protect everyone they care about from being hurt, of course. Danger is ignored. Raising the ante becomes the only way to sustain the rush as they become increasingly careless. The countless victims are just collateral damage. Until it is too late.

And like any addict, the question is never whether they achieve their aims of personal pleasure or riches -- an addict can often plow forward for years and years, sometimes even win the jackpot, score with the hot babe or be the "life of the party." The waraholic might even lead to democracy somewhere -- someday -- but at what unfathomable cost? And to whom?

And then there are the Enablers.

And in this case the Democrats and press have been more than eager to oblige. Intelligence and law enforcement were the right answers to terrorism. Afghanistan was more than we could handle in the nation-building and democracy department. The Democrats didn't "recoil" and "curl up in a little ball," as Tom DeLay recently claimed, to the terrorists -- they recoiled and curled up to Tom DeLay and the war-hungry neocons. Democrats ignored their better international instincts and gave the workaholics an open bar.

And like all enablers, Dems have been abused and smeared in the harshest terms imaginable -- without a strong and forceful response. Karl Rove can accuse liberals of seeing Nazi concentration camps and Soviet gulags when they "see the United States" and not get punched in the face. And while I don't classify Hillary as a waraholic, she was in Washington during their last joy ride and knew the history of this terrible gang. And she still handed them the keys to the car. Like all enablers, she should have known better. And then some.

And now, five years later, it is looking like the waraholics may be approaching bottom. Afghanistan is unraveling. The Taliban is rocking, Islamic fundamentalism is winning in the countryside and the drugs are flowing at record levels. I don't need to tell you about Iraq. The waraholics' speeches are increasingly slurred -- with Hitler and Communism and, yes, even the laughable domino theory back in play. You know things are bad.

Have they reached bottom? Or will they not stop until we are in Iran? We may get to find out -- since the press and the Dems are still enabling more than it may seem.

Take this pathetic exchange with Tim Russert by Democratic senatorial candidate Bob Casey and you will understand everything you need to know about why Rove and company are still in charge. When Russert asks Bob the standard "knowing what you know today" Iraq question, sinking Kerrey and Clark, here was Casey's response:

Tim, on the war in Iraq, if, if, if a lot of Americans knew now -- if they knew then what they know now, they would, they would have thought that this war was the war that shouldn't have been fought based upon the misleading of this administration. Here's what I think has to happen in Iraq today.

Russert: So you would not vote for it today.

Casey: Based upon the information that we have now, I think that, that a lot of Americans would have serious doubts. I'm not sure there would have even been a vote on Iraq that early in the ...

Russert: But in '05 you said you'd vote for it. Would you today in '06 vote for it?

Casey: Based upon the evidence that was presented then, yes, which I think has been -- was misleading, and I think it was faulty. The intelligence was faulty.

Russert: But today, today is no. Today you would vote no.

Casey: Today -- if we knew then what we know now, sure. I think there wouldn't have been a vote, and I think people would have changed.
And if you have any lingering doubts whether we are captive of waraholics -- check out these common indicator questions -- three "yes" answers and you are supposed to seek immediate counseling. How would Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld fare?

Do you think about the activity with high frequency?
Are you using [war] to solve problems and feel better about yourself? Is it going on longer than you planned?

Are you selling everything to finance your habit?
Have you ever considered an illegal act to finance or support your habit?
Are you being dishonest about the time and commitment necessary to support your addiction?
Do you deny the negative consequences to others as a result of your addiction?
Do you participate in high-risk or normally unacceptable behavior?
Have you ever had a complete loss of memory?
Do you lash out at others who try and stop your behavior?

Dr. James Fearing of the National Counseling Center in Minneapolis lists these signs:

No limits.
Harmful results.
Improper behavior.
Misplaced priorities.
Fixation and preoccupation.
Excessive spending.

Downright scary, isn't it?

Despair may be the only item on the list these waraholics don't feel yet -- despair is left for all of us.

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